The disciples did bury him in great style.
The Master said, Hui behaved towards me as his father. I have not been able to treat him as my son. The fault is not mine; it belongs to you, O disciples.
Chi Lu asked about serving the spirits of the dead. The Master said, While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve their spirits? Chi Lu added, I venture to ask about death? He was answered, While you do not know life, how can you know about death?
The disciple Min was standing by his side, looking bland and precise; Tsze-lu, looking bold and soldierly; Zan Yu and Tsze-kung, with a free and straightforward manner. The Master was pleased.
He said, Yu, there!-he will not die a natural death.
Some parties in Lu were going to take down and rebuild the Long Treasury.
Min Tsze-ch’ien said, Suppose it were to be repaired after its old style;-why must it be altered and made anew?
The Master said, This man seldom speaks; when he does, he is sure to hit the point.
The Master said, What has the lute of Yu to do in my door?
The other disciples began not to respect Tszelu. The Master said, Yu has ascended to the hall, though he has not yet passed into the inner apartments.
Tsze-kung asked which of the two, Shih or Shang, was the superior. The Master said, Shih goes beyond the due mean, and Shang does not come up to it.
Then, said Tsze-kung, the superiority is with Shih, I suppose.
The Master said, To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.
The head of the Chi family was richer than the duke of Chau had been, and yet Ch’iu collected his imposts for him, and increased his wealth.
The Master said, He is no disciple of mine. My little children, beat the drum and assail him.
Ch’ai is simple. Shan is dull. Shih is specious. Yu is coarse.
The Master said, There is Hui! He has nearly attained to perfect virtue. He is often in want.
Ts’ze does not acquiesce in the appointments of Heaven, and his goods are increased by him. Yet his judgments are often correct.
Tsze-chang asked what were the characteristics of the good man. The Master said, He does not tread in the footsteps of others, but moreover, he does not enter the chamber of the sage.
The Master said, If, because a man’s discourse appears solid and sincere, we allow him to be a good man, is he really a superior man? or is his gravity only in appearance?
Tsze-lu asked whether he should immediately carry into practice what he heard. The Master said, There are your father and elder brothers to be consulted;-why should you act on that principle of immediately carrying into practice what you hear? Zan Yu asked the same, whether he should immediately carry into practice what he heard, and the Master answered, Immediately carry into practice what you hear. Kung-hsi Hwa said, Yu asked whether he should carry immediately into practice what he heard, and you said, ‘There are your father and elder brothers to be consulted.’ Ch’iu asked whether he should immediately carry into practice what he heard, and you said, ‘Carry it immediately into practice.’ I, Ch’ih, am perplexed, and venture to ask you for an explanation. The Master said, Ch’iu is retiring and slow; therefore I urged him forward. Yu has more than his own share of energy; therefore I kept him back.
The Master was put in fear in K’wang and Yen Yuan fell behind. The Master, on his rejoining him, said, I thought you had died. Hui replied, While you were alive, how should I presume to die?
Chi Tsze-zan asked whether Chung Yu and Zan Ch’iu could be called great ministers.
The Master said, I thought you would ask about some extraordinary individuals, and you only ask about Yu and Ch’iu!
What is called a great minister, is one who serves his prince according to what is right, and when he finds he cannot do so, retires.
Now, as to Yu and Ch’iu, they may be called ordinary ministers.
Tsze-zan said, Then they will always follow their chief;-win they?
The Master said, In an act of parricide or regicide, they would not follow him.
Tsze-lu got Tsze-kao appointed governor of Pi.
The Master said, You are injuring a man’s son.
Tsze-lu said, There are, there, common people and officers; there are the altars of the spirits of the land and grain. Why must one read books before he can be considered to have learned?
The Master said, It is on this account that I hate your glib-tongued people.
Tsze-lu, Tsang Hsi, Zan Yu, and Kunghsi Hwa were sitting by the Master.
He said to them, Though I am a day or so older than you, do not think of that.
From day to day you are saying, ‘We are not known.’ If some ruler were to know you, what would you like to do?
Tsze-lu hastily and lightly replied, Suppose the case of a state of ten thousand chariots; let it be straitened between other large cities; let it be suffering from invading armies; and to this let there be added a famine in corn and in all vegetables:-if I were intrusted with the government of it, in three years’ time I could make the people to be bold, and to recognize the rules of righteous conduct. The Master smiled at him.
Turning to Yen Yu, he said, Ch’iu, what are your wishes? Ch’iu replied, Suppose a state of sixty or seventy li square, or one of fifty or sixty, and let me have the government of it;-in three years’ time, I could make plenty to abound among the people. As to teaching them the principles of propriety, and music, I must wait for the rise of a superior man to do that.
What are your wishes, Ch’ih, said the Master next to Kung-hsi Hwa. Ch’ih replied, I do not say that my ability extends to these things, but I should wish to learn them. At the services of the ancestral temple, and at the audiences of the princes with the sovereign, I should like, dressed in the dark square-made robe and the black linen cap, to act as a small assistant.
Last of all, the Master asked Tsang Hsi, Tien, what are your wishes? Tien, pausing as he was playing on his lute, while it was yet twanging, laid the instrument aside, and My wishes, he said, are different from the cherished purposes of these three gentlemen. What harm is there in that? said the Master; do you also, as well as they, speak out your wishes. Tien then said, In this, the last month of spring, with the dress of the season all complete, along with five or six young men who have assumed the cap, and six or seven boys, I would wash in the I, enjoy the breeze among the rain altars, and return home singing. The Master heaved a sigh and said, I give my approval to Tien.
The three others having gone out, Tsang Hsi remained behind, and said, What do you think of the words of these three friends? The Master replied, They simply told each one his wishes.
Hsi pursued, Master, why did you smile at Yu?
He was answered, The management of a state demands the rules of propriety. His words were not humble; therefore I smiled at him.
Hsi again said, But was it not a state which Ch’iu proposed for himself? The reply was, Yes; did you ever see a territory of sixty or seventy li or one of fifty or sixty, which was not a state?
Once more, Hsi inquired, And was it not a state which Ch’ih proposed for himself? The Master again replied, Yes; who but princes have to do with ancestral temples, and with audiences but the sovereign? If Ch’ih were to be a small assistant in these services, who could be a great one?
Yen Yuan asked about perfect virtue. The Master said, To subdue one’s self and return to propriety, is perfect virtue. If a man can for one day subdue himself and return to propriety, an under heaven will ascribe perfect virtue to him. Is the practice of perfect virtue from a man himself, or is it from others?
Yen Yuan said, I beg to ask the steps of that process. The Master replied, Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety. Yen Yuan then said, Though I am deficient in intelligence and vigor, I will make it my business to practice this lesson.
Chung-kung asked about perfect virtue. The Master said, It is, when you go abroad, to behave to every one as if you were receiving a great guest; to employ the people as if you were assisting at a great sacrifice; not to do to others as you would not wish done to yourself; to have no murmuring against you in the country, and none in the family. Chung-kung said, Though I am deficient in intelligence and vigor, I will make it my business to practice this lesson.
Sze-ma Niu asked about perfect virtue.
The Master said, The man of perfect virtue is cautious and slow in his speech.
Cautious and slow in his speech! said Niu;-is this what is meant by perfect virtue? The Master said, When a man feels the difficulty of doing, can he be other than cautious and slow in speaking?
Sze-ma Niu asked about the superior man. The Master said, The superior man has neither anxiety nor fear.
Being without anxiety or fear! said Nui;does this constitute what we call the superior man?
The Master said, When internal examination discovers nothing wrong, what is there to be anxious about, what is there to fear?
Sze-ma Niu, full of anxiety, said, Other men all have their brothers, I only have not.
Tsze-hsia said to him, There is the following saying which I have heard-‘Death and life have their determined appointment; riches and honors depend upon Heaven.’
Let the superior man never fail reverentially to order his own conduct, and let him be respectful to others and observant of propriety:-then all within the four seas will be his brothers. What has the superior man to do with being distressed because he has no brothers?
Tsze-chang asked what constituted intelligence. The Master said, He with whom neither slander that gradually soaks into the mind, nor statements that startle like a wound in the flesh, are successful may be called intelligent indeed. Yea, he with whom neither soaking slander, nor startling statements, are successful, may be called farseeing.
Tsze-kung asked about government. The Master said, The requisites of government are that there be sufficiency of food, sufficiency of military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their ruler.
Tsze-kung said, If it cannot be helped, and one of these must be dispensed with, which of the three should be foregone first? The military equipment, said the Master.
Tsze-kung again asked, If it cannot be helped, and one of the remaining two must be dispensed with, which of them should be foregone? The Master answered, Part with the food. From of old, death has been the lot of an men; but if the people have no faith in their rulers, there is no standing for the state.
Chi Tsze-ch’ang said, In a superior man it is only the substantial qualities which are wanted;-why should we seek for ornamental accomplishments?
Tsze-kung said, Alas! Your words, sir, show you to be a superior man, but four horses cannot overtake the tongue. Ornament is as substance; substance is as ornament. The hide of a tiger or a leopard stripped of its hair, is like the hide of a dog or a goat stripped of its hair.
The Duke Ai inquired of Yu Zo, saying, The year is one of scarcity, and the returns for expenditure are not sufficient;-what is to be done?
Yu Zo replied to him, Why not simply tithe the people?
With two tenths, said the duke, I find it not enough;-how could I do with that system of one tenth?
Yu Zo answered, If the people have plenty, their prince will not be left to want alone. If the people are in want, their prince cannot enjoy plenty alone.
Tsze-chang having asked how virtue was to be exalted, and delusions to be discovered, the Master said, Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles, and be moving continually to what is right,-this is the way to exalt one’s virtue.
You love a man and wish him to live; you hate him and wish him to die. Having wished him to live, you also wish him to die. This is a case of delusion. ‘It may not be on account of her being rich, yet you come to make a difference.’
The Duke Ching, of Ch’i, asked Confucius about government. Confucius replied, There is government, when the prince is prince, and the minister is minister; when the father is father, and the son is son.
Good! said the duke; if, indeed, the prince be not prince, the not minister, the father not father, and the son not son, although I have my revenue, can I enjoy it?
The Master said, Ah! it is Yu, who could with half a word settle litigations!
Tsze-lu never slept over a promise.
The Master said, In hearing litigations, I am like any other body. What is necessary, however, is to cause the people to have no litigations.
Tsze-chang asked about government. The Master said, The art of governing is to keep its affairs before the mind without weariness, and to practice them with undeviating consistency.
The Master said, By extensively studying all learning, and keeping himself under the restraint of the rules of propriety, one may thus likewise not err from what is right.
The Master said, The superior man seeks to perfect the admirable qualities of men, and does not seek to perfect their bad qualities. The mean man does the opposite of this.
Chi K’ang asked Confucius about government. Confucius replied, To govern means to rectify. If you lead on the people with correctness, who will dare not to be correct?
Chi K’ang, distressed about the number of thieves in the state, inquired of Confucius how to do away with them. Confucius said, If you, sir, were not covetous, although you should reward them to do it, they would not steal.
Chi K’ang asked Confucius about government, saying, What do you say to killing the unprincipled for the good of the principled? Confucius replied, Sir, in carrying on your government, why should you use killing at all? Let your evinced desires be for what is good, and the people will be good. The relation between superiors and inferiors is like that between the wind and the grass. The grass must bend, when the wind blows across it.
Tsze-chang asked, What must the officer be, who may be said to be distinguished?
The Master said, What is it you call being distinguished?
Tsze-chang replied, It is to be heard of through the state, to be heard of throughout his clan.
The Master said, That is notoriety, not distinction.
Now the man of distinction is solid and straightforward, and loves righteousness. He examines people’s words, and looks at their countenances. He is anxious to humble himself to others. Such a man will be distinguished in the country; he will be distinguished in his clan.
As to the man of notoriety, he assumes the appearance of virtue, but his actions are opposed to it, and he rests in this character without any doubts about himself. Such a man will be heard of in the country; he will be heard of in the clan.
Fan Ch’ih rambling with the Master under the trees about the rain altars, said, I venture to ask how to exalt virtue, to correct cherished evil, and to discover delusions.
The Master said, Truly a good question!
If doing what is to be done be made the first business, and success a secondary consideration:-is not this the way to exalt virtue? To assail one’s own wickedness and not assail that of others;-is not this the way to correct cherished evil? For a morning’s anger to disregard one’s own life, and involve that of his parents;-is not this a case of delusion?
Fan Ch’ih asked about benevolence. The Master said, It is to love all men. He asked about knowledge. The Master said, It is to know all men.
Fan Ch’ih did not immediately understand these answers.
The Master said, Employ the upright and put aside all the crooked; in this way the crooked can be made to be upright.
Fan Ch’ih retired, and, seeing Tsze-hsia, he said to him, A Little while ago, I had an interview with our Master, and asked him about knowledge. He said, ‘Employ the upright, and put aside all the crooked;-in this way, the crooked will be made to be upright.’ What did he mean?
Tsze-hsia said, Truly rich is his saying!
Shun, being in possession of the kingdom, selected from among all the people, and employed Kai-yao-on which all who were devoid of virtue disappeared. T’ang, being in possession of the kingdom, selected from among all the people, and employed I Yin-and an who were devoid of virtue disappeared.
Tsze-kung asked about friendship. The Master said, Faithfully admonish your friend, and skillfully lead him on. If you find him impracticable, stop. Do not disgrace yourself.
The philosopher Tsang said, The superior man on grounds of culture meets with his friends, and by friendship helps his virtue.
Tsze-lu asked about government. The Master said, Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.
He requested further instruction, and was answered, Be not weary in these things.
Chung-kung, being chief minister to the head of the Chi family, asked about government. The Master said, Employ first the services of your various officers, pardon small faults, and raise to office men of virtue and talents.
Chung-kung said, How shall I know the men of virtue and talent, so that I may raise them to office? He was answered, Raise to office those whom you know. As to those whom you do not know, will others neglect them?
Tsze-lu said, The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order with you to administer the government. What will you consider the first thing to be done?
The Master replied, What is necessary is to rectify names.
So! indeed! said Tsze-lu. You are wide of the mark! Why must there be such rectification?
The Master said, How uncultivated you are, Yu! A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.
When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.
Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.
Fan Ch’ih requested to be taught husbandry. The Master said, I am not so good for that as an old husbandman. He requested also to be taught gardening, and was answered, I am not so good for that as an old gardener.
Fan Ch’ih having gone out, the Master said, A small man, indeed, is Fan Hsu! If a superior man love propriety, the people will not dare not to be reverent. If he love righteousness, the people will not dare not to submit to his example. If he love good faith, the people will not dare not to be sincere. Now, when these things obtain, the people from all quarters will come to him, bearing their children on their backs; what need has he of a knowledge of husbandry?
The Master said, Though a man may be able to recite the three hundred odes, yet if, when intrusted with a governmental charge, he knows not how to act, or if, when sent to any quarter on a mission, he cannot give his replies unassisted, notwithstanding the extent of his learning, of what practical use is it?
The Master said, When a prince’s personal conduct is correct, his government is effective without the issuing of orders. If his personal conduct is not correct, he may issue orders, but they will not be followed.
The Master said, The governments of Lu and Wei are brothers.
The Master said of Ching, a scion of the ducal family of Wei, that he knew the economy of a family well. When he began to have means, he said, Ha! here is a collection-! When they were a little increased, he said, Ha! this is complete! When he had become rich, he said, Ha! this is admirable!
When the Master went to Weil Zan Yu acted as driver of his carriage.
The Master observed, How numerous are the people!
Yu said, Since they are thus numerous, what more shall be done for them? Enrich them, was the reply.
And when they have been enriched, what more shall be done? The Master said, Teach them.
The Master said, If there were any of the princes who would employ me, in the course of twelve months, I should have done something considerable. In three years, the government would be perfected.
The Master said, ‘If good men were to govern a country in succession for a hundred years, they would be able to transform the violently bad, and dispense with capital punishments.’ True indeed is this saying!
The Master said, If a truly royal ruler were to arise, it would stir require a generation, and then virtue would prevail.
The Master said, If a minister make his own conduct correct, what difficulty will he have in assisting in government? If he cannot rectify himself, what has he to do with rectifying others?
The disciple Zan returning from the court, the Master said to him, How are you so late? He replied, We had government business. The Master said, It must have been family affairs. If there had been government business, though I am not now in office, I should have been consulted about it.
The Duke Ting asked whether there was a single sentence which could make a country prosperous. Confucius replied, Such an effect cannot be expected from one sentence.
There is a saying, however, which people have -‘To be a prince is difficult; to be a minister is not easy.’
If a ruler knows this,-the difficulty of being a prince,-may there not be expected from this one sentence the prosperity of his country?
The duke then said, Is there a single sentence which can ruin a country? Confucius replied, Such an effect as that cannot be expected from one sentence. There is, however, the saying which people have-‘I have no pleasure in being a prince, but only in that no one can offer any opposition to what I say!’
If a ruler’s words be good, is it not also good that no one oppose them? But if they are not good, and no one opposes them, may there not be expected from this one sentence the ruin of his country?
The Duke of Sheh asked about government.
The Master said, Good government obtains when those who are near are made happy, and those who are far off are attracted.
Tsze-hsia! being governor of Chu-fu, asked about government. The Master said, Do not be desirous to have things done quickly; do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.
The Duke of Sheh informed Confucius, saying, Among us here there are those who may be styled upright in their conduct. If their father have stolen a sheep, they will bear witness to the fact.
Confucius said, Among us, in our part of the country, those who are upright are different from this. The father conceals the misconduct of the son, and the son conceals the misconduct of the father. Uprightness is to be found in this.
Fan Ch’ih asked about perfect virtue. The Master said, It is, in retirement, to be sedately grave; in the management of business, to be reverently attentive; in intercourse with others, to be strictly sincere. Though a man go among rude, uncultivated tribes, these qualities may not be neglected.
Tsze-kung asked, saying, What qualities must a man possess to entitle him to be called an officer? The Master said, He who in his conduct of himself maintains a sense of shame, and when sent to any quarter will not disgrace his prince’s commission, deserves to be called an officer.
Tsze-kung pursued, I venture to ask who may be placed in the next lower rank? And he was told, He whom the circle of his relatives pronounce to be filial, whom his fellow villagers and neighbors pronounce to be fraternal.
Again the disciple asked, I venture to ask about the class still next in order. The Master said, They are determined to be sincere in what they say, and to carry out what they do. They are obstinate little men. Yet perhaps they may make the next class.
Tsze-kung finally inquired, Of what sort are those of the present day, who engage in government? The Master said Pooh! they are so many pecks and hampers, not worth being taken into account.
The Master said, Since I cannot get men pursuing the due medium, to whom I might communicate my instructions, I must find the ardent and the cautiously-decided. The ardent will advance and lay hold of truth; the cautiously-decided will keep themselves from what is wrong.
The Master said, The people of the south have a saying -‘A man without constancy cannot be either a wizard or a doctor.’ Good!
Inconstant in his virtue, he will be visited with disgrace.
The Master said, This arises simply from not attending to the prognostication.
The Master said, The superior man is affable, but not adulatory; the mean man is adulatory, but not affable.
Tsze-kung asked, saying, What do you say of a man who is loved by all the people of his neighborhood? The Master replied, We may not for that accord our approval of him. And what do you say of him who is hated by all the people of his neighborhood? The Master said, We may not for that conclude that he is bad. It is better than either of these cases that the good in the neighborhood love him, and the bad hate him.
The Master said, The superior man is easy to serve and difficult to please. If you try to please him in any way which is not accordant with right, he will not be pleased. But in his employment of men, he uses them according to their capacity. The mean man is difficult to serve, and easy to please. If you try to please him, though it be in a way which is not accordant with right, he may be pleased. But in his employment of men, he wishes them to be equal to everything.
The Master said, The superior man has a dignified ease without pride. The mean man has pride without a dignified ease.
The Master said, The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.
Tsze-lu asked, saying, What qualities must a man possess to entitle him to be called a scholar? The Master said, He must be thus,-earnest, urgent, and bland:-among his friends, earnest and urgent; among his brethren, bland.
The Master said, Let a good man teach the people seven years, and they may then likewise be employed in war.
The Master said, To lead an uninstructed people to war, is to throw them away.
Hsien asked what was shameful. The Master said, When good government prevails in a state, to be thinking only of salary; and, when bad government prevails, to be thinking, in the same way, only of salary;-this is shameful.
When the love of superiority, boasting, resentments, and covetousness are repressed, this may be deemed perfect virtue.
The Master said, This may be regarded as the achievement of what is difficult. But I do not know that it is to be deemed perfect virtue.
The Master said, The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
The Master said, When good government prevails in a state, language may be lofty and bold, and actions the same. When bad government prevails, the actions may be lofty and bold, but the language may be with some reserve.
The Master said, The virtuous will be sure to speak correctly, but those whose speech is good may not always be virtuous. Men of principle are sure to be bold, but those who are bold may not always be men of principle.
Nan-kung Kwo, submitting an inquiry to Confucius, said, I was skillful at archery, and Ao could move a boat along upon the land, but neither of them died a natural death. Yu and Chi personally wrought at the toils of husbandry, and they became possessors of the kingdom. The Master made no reply; but when Nan-kung Kwo went out, he said, A superior man indeed is this! An esteemer of virtue indeed is this!
The Master said, Superior men, and yet not always virtuous, there have been, alas! But there never has been a mean man, and, at the same time, virtuous.
The Master said, Can there be love which does not lead to strictness with its object? Can there be loyalty which does not lead to the instruction of its object?
The Master said, In preparing the governmental notifications, P’i Shan first made the rough draft; Shi-shu examined and discussed its contents; Tsze-yu, the manager of foreign intercourse, then polished the style; and, finally, Tsze-ch’an of Tung-li gave it the proper elegance and finish.
Some one asked about Tsze-ch’an. The Master said, He was a kind man.
He asked about Tsze-hsi. The Master said, That man! That man!
He asked about Kwan Chung. For him, said the Master, the city of Pien, with three hundred families, was taken from the chief of the Po family, who did not utter a murmuring word, though, to the end of his life, he had only coarse rice to eat.
The Master said, To be poor without murmuring is difficult. To be rich without being proud is easy.
The Master said, Mang Kung-ch’o is more than fit to be chief officer in the families of Chao and Wei, but he is not fit to be great officer to either of the states Tang or Hsieh.
Tsze-lu asked what constituted a COMPLETE man. The Master said, Suppose a man with the knowledge of Tsang Wu-chung, the freedom from covetousness of Kung-ch’o, the bravery of Chwang of Pien, and the varied talents of Zan Ch’iu; add to these the accomplishments of the rules of propriety and music;-such a one might be reckoned a COMPLETE man.
He then added, But what is the necessity for a complete man of the present day to have all these things? The man, who in the view of gain, thinks of righteousness; who in the view of danger is prepared to give up his life; and who does not forget an old agreement however far back it extends:-such a man may be reckoned a COMPLETE man.
The Master asked Kung-ming Chia about Kung-shu Wan, saying, Is it true that your master speaks not, laughs not, and takes not?
Kung-ming Chia replied, This has arisen from the reporters going beyond the truth.-My master speaks when it is the time to speak, and so men do not get tired of his speaking. He laughs when there is occasion to be joyful, and so men do not get tired of his laughing. He takes when it is consistent with righteousness to do so, and so men do not get tired of his taking. The Master said, So! But is it so with him?
The Master said, Tsang Wu-chung, keeping possession of Fang, asked of the duke of Lu to appoint a successor to him in his family. Although it may be said that he was not using force with his sovereign, I believe he was.
The Master said, The duke Wan of Tsin was crafty and not upright. The duke Hwan of Ch’i was upright and not crafty.
Tsze-lu said, The Duke Hwan caused his brother Chiu to be killed, when Shao Hu died, with his master, but Kwan Chung did not die. May not I say that he was wanting in virtue?
The Master said, The Duke Hwan assembled all the princes together, and that not with weapons of war and chariots:-it was all through the influence of Kwan Chung. Whose beneficence was like his? Whose beneficence was like his?
Tsze-kung said, Kwan Chung, I apprehend was wanting in virtue. When the Duke Hwan caused his brother Chiu to be killed, Kwan Chung was not able to die with him. Moreover, he became prime minister to Hwan.
The Master said, Kwan Chung acted as prime minister to the Duke Hwan made him leader of all the princes, and united and rectified the whole kingdom. Down to the present day, the people enjoy the gifts which he conferred. But for Kwan Chung, we should now be wearing our hair unbound, and the lappets of our coats buttoning on the left side.
Will you require from him the small fidelity of common men and common women, who would commit suicide in a stream or ditch, no one knowing anything about them?
The great officer, Hsien, who had been family minister to Kung-shu Wan, ascended to the prince’s court in company with Wan.
The Master, having heard of it, said, He deserved to be considered WAN (the accomplished).
The Master was speaking about the unprincipled course of the duke Ling of Weil when Ch’i K’ang said, Since he is of such a character, how is it he does not lose his state?
Confucius said, The Chung-shu Yu has the superintendence of his guests and of strangers; the litanist, T’o, has the management of his ancestral temple; and Wang-sun Chia has the direction of the army and forces:-with such officers as these, how should he lose his state?
The Master said, He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.
Chan Ch’ang murdered the Duke Chien of Ch’i.
Confucius bathed, went to court and informed the Duke Ai, saying, Chan Hang has slain his sovereign. I beg that you will undertake to punish him.
The duke said, Inform the chiefs of the three families of it.
Confucius retired, and said, Following in the rear of the great officers, I did not dare not to represent such a matter, and my prince says, Inform the chiefs of the three families of it.
He went to the chiefs, and informed them, but they would not act. Confucius then said, Following in the rear of the great officers, I did not dare not to represent such a matter.
Tsze-lu asked how a ruler should be served. The Master said, Do not impose on him, and, moreover, withstand him to his face.
The Master said, The progress of the superior man is upwards; the progress of the mean man is downwards.
The Master said, In ancient times, men learned with a view to their own improvement. Nowadays, men learn with a view to the approbation of others.
Chu Po-yu sent a messenger with friendly inquiries to Confucius.
Confucius sat with him, and questioned him. What, said he! is your master engaged in? The messenger replied, My master is anxious to make his faults few, but he has not yet succeeded. He then went out, and the Master said, A messenger indeed! A messenger indeed!
The Master said, He who is not in any particular office has nothing to do with plans for the administration of its duties.
The philosopher Tsang said, The superior man, in his thoughts, does not go out of his place.
The Master said, The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
The Master said, The way of the superior man is threefold, but I am not equal to it. Virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear.
Tsze-kung said, Master, that is what you yourself say.
Tsze-kung was in the habit of comparing men together. The Master said, Tsze must have reached a high pitch of excellence! Now, I have not leisure for this.
The Master said, I will not be concerned at men’s not knowing me; I will be concerned at my own want of ability.
The Master said, He who does not anticipate attempts to deceive him, nor think beforehand of his not being believed, and yet apprehends these things readily when they occur;-is he not a man of superior worth?
Wei-shang Mau said to Confucius, Ch’iu, how is it that you keep roosting about? Is it not that you are an insinuating talker?
Confucius said, I do not dare to play the part of such a talker, but I hate obstinacy.
The Master said, A horse is called a ch’i, not because of its strength, but because of its other good qualities.
Some one said, What do you say concerning the principle that injury should be recompensed with kindness?
The Master said, With what then will you recompense kindness?
Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.
The Master said, Alas! there is no one that knows me.
Tsze-kung said, What do you mean by thus saying-that no one knows you? The Master replied, I do not murmur against Heaven. I do not grumble against men. My studies lie low, and my penetration rises high. But there is Heaven;-that knows me!
The Kung-po Liao, having slandered Tsze-lu to Chi-sun, Tsze-fu Ching-po informed Confucius of it, saying, Our master is certainly being led astray by the Kung-po Liao, but I have still power enough left to cut Liao off, and expose his corpse in the market and in the court.
The Master said, If my principles are to advance, it is so ordered. If they are to fall to the ground, it is so ordered. What can the Kung-po Liao do where such ordering is concerned?
The Master said, Some men of worth retire from the world. Some retire from particular states. Some retire because of disrespectful looks. Some retire because of contradictory language.
The Master said, Those who have done this are seven men.
Tsze-lu happening to pass the night in Shih-man, the gatekeeper said to him, Whom do you come from? Tsze-lu said, From Mr. K’ung. It is he,-is it not?-said the other, who knows the impracticable nature of the times and yet will be doing in them.
The Master was playing, one day, on a musical stone in Weil when a man carrying a straw basket passed door of the house where Confucius was, and said, His heart is full who so beats the musical stone.
A little while after, he added, How contemptible is the one-ideaed obstinacy those sounds display! When one is taken no notice of, he has simply at once to give over his wish for public employment. ‘Deep water must be crossed with the clothes on; shallow water may be crossed with the clothes held up.’
The Master said, How determined is he in his purpose! But this is not difficult!
Tsze-chang said, What is meant when the Shu says that Kao-tsung, while observing the usual imperial mourning, was for three years without speaking?
The Master said, Why must Kao-tsung be referred to as an example of this? The ancients all did so. When the sovereign died, the officers all attended to their several duties, taking instructions from the prime minister for three years.
The Master said, When rulers love to observe the rules of propriety, the people respond readily to the calls on them for service.
Tsze-lu asked what constituted the superior man. The Master said, The cultivation of himself in reverential carefulness. And is this all? said Tsze-lu. He cultivates himself so as to give rest to others, was the reply. And is this all? again asked Tsze-lu. The Master said, He cultivates himself so as to give rest to all the people. He cultivates himself so as to give rest to all the people:-even Yao and Shun were still solicitous about this.
Yuan Zang was squatting on his heels, and so waited the approach of the Master, who said to him, In youth not humble as befits a junior; in manhood, doing nothing worthy of being handed down; and living on to old age:-this is to be a pest. With this he hit him on the shank with his staff.
A youth of the village of Ch’ueh was employed by Confucius to carry the messages between him and his visitors. Some one asked about him, saying, I suppose he has made great progress.
The Master said, I observe that he is fond of occupying the seat of a full-grown man; I observe that he walks shoulder to shoulder with his elders. He is not one who is seeking to make progress in learning. He wishes quickly to become a man.
The Duke Ling of Wei asked Confucius about tactics. Confucius replied, I have heard all about sacrificial vessels, but I have not learned military matters. On this, he took his departure the next day.
When he was in Chan, their provisions were exhausted, and his followers became so in that they were unable to rise.
Tsze-lu, with evident dissatisfaction, said, Has the superior man likewise to endure in this way? The Master said, The superior man may indeed have to endure want, but the mean man, when he is in want, gives way to unbridled license.
The Master said, Ts’ze, you think, I suppose, that I am one who learns many things and keeps them in memory?
Tsze-kung replied, Yes,-but perhaps it is not so?
No, was the answer; I seek a unity all pervading.
The Master said, Yu I those who know virtue are few.
The Master said, May not Shun be instanced as having governed efficiently without exertion? What did he do? He did nothing but gravely and reverently occupy his royal seat.
Tsze-chang asked how a man should conduct himself, so as to be everywhere appreciated.
The Master said, Let his words be sincere and truthful and his actions honorable and careful;-such conduct may be practiced among the rude tribes of the South or the North. If his words be not sincere and truthful and his actions not honorable and carefull will he, with such conduct, be appreciated, even in his neighborhood?
When he is standing, let him see those two things, as it were, fronting him. When he is in a carriage, let him see them attached to the yoke. Then may he subsequently carry them into practice.
Tsze-chang wrote these counsels on the end of his sash.
The Master said, Truly straightforward was the historiographer Yu. When good government prevailed in his state, he was like an arrow. When bad government prevailed, he was like an arrow. A superior man indeed is Chu Po-yu! When good government prevails in his state, he is to be found in office. When bad government prevails, he can roll his principles up, and keep them in his breast.
The Master said, When a man may be spoken with, not to speak to him is to err in reference to the man. When a man may not be spoken with, to speak to him is to err in reference to our words. The wise err neither in regard to their man nor to their words.
The Master said, The determined scholar and the man of virtue will not seek to live at the expense of injuring their virtue. They will even sacrifice their lives to preserve their virtue complete.
Tsze-kung asked about the practice of virtue. The Master said, The mechanic, who wishes to do his work well, must first sharpen his tools. When you are living in any state, take service with the most worthy among its great officers, and make friends of the most virtuous among its scholars.
Yen Yuan asked how the government of a country should be administered.
The Master said, Follow the seasons of Hsia.
Ride in the state carriage of Yin.
Wear the ceremonial cap of Chau.
Let the music be the Shao with its pantomimes. Banish the songs of Chang, and keep far from specious talkers. The songs of Chang are licentious; specious talkers are dangerous.
The Master said, If a man take no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.
The Master said, It is all over! I have not seen one who loves virtue as he loves beauty.
The Master said, Was not Tsang Wan like one who had stolen his situation? He knew the virtue and the talents of Hui of Liu-hsia, and yet did not procure that he should stand with him in court.
The Master said, He who requires much from himself and little from others, will keep himself from being the object of resentment.
The Master said, When a man is not in the habit of saying-‘What shall I think of this? What shall I think of this?’ I can indeed do nothing with him!
The Master said, When a number of people are together, for a whole day, without their conversation turning on righteousness, and when they are fond of carrying out the suggestions of a small shrewdness;-theirs is indeed a hard case.
The Master said, The superior man in everything considers righteousness to be essential. He performs it according to the rules of propriety. He brings it forth in humility. He completes it with sincerity. This is indeed a superior man.
The Master said, The superior man is distressed by his want of ability. He is not distressed by men’s not knowing him.
The Master said, The superior man dislikes the thought of his name not being mentioned after his death.
The Master said, What the superior man seeks, is in himself. What the mean man seeks, is in others.
The Master said, The superior man is dignified, but does not wrangle. He is sociable, but not a partisan.
The Master said, The superior man does not promote a man simply on account of his words, nor does he put aside good words because of the man.
Tsze-kung asked, saying, Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life? The Master said, Is not RECIPROCITY such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
The Master said, In my dealings with men, whose evil do I blame, whose goodness do I praise, beyond what is proper? If I do sometimes exceed in praise, there must be ground for it in my examination of the individual.
This people supplied the ground why the three dynasties pursued the path of straightforwardness.
The Master said, Even in my early days, a historiographer would leave a blank in his text, and he who had a horse would lend him to another to ride. Now, alas! there are no such things.
The Master said, Specious words confound virtue. Want of forbearance in small matters confounds great plans.
The Master said, When the multitude hate a man, it is necessary to examine into the case. When the multitude like a man, it is necessary to examine into the case.
The Master said, A man can enlarge the principles which he follows; those principles do not enlarge the man.
The Master said, To have faults and not to reform them,-this, indeed, should be pronounced having faults.
The Master said, I have been the whole day without eating, and the whole night without sleeping:-occupied with thinking. It was of no use. better plan is to learn.
The Master said, The object of the superior man is truth. Food is not his object. There is plowing;-even in that there is sometimes want. So with learning;-emolument may be found in it. The superior man is anxious lest he should not get truth; he is not anxious lest poverty should come upon him.
The Master said, When a man’s knowledge is sufficient to attain, and his virtue is not sufficient to enable him to hold, whatever he may have gained, he will lose again.
When his knowledge is sufficient to attain, and he has virtue enough to hold fast, if he cannot govern with dignity, the people will not respect him.
When his knowledge is sufficient to attain, and he has virtue enough to hold fast; when he governs also with dignity, yet if he try to move the people contrary to the rules of propriety:-full excellence is not reached.
The Master said, The superior man cannot be known in little matters; but he may be intrusted with great concerns. The small man may not be intrusted with great concerns, but he may be known in little matters.
The Master said, Virtue is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue.
The Master said, Let every man consider virtue as what devolves on himself. He may not yield the performance of it even to his teacher.
The Master said, The superior man is correctly firm, and not firm merely.
The Master said, A minister, in serving his prince, reverently discharges his duties, and makes his emolument a secondary consideration.
The Master said, In teaching there should be no distinction of classes.
The Master said, Those whose courses are different cannot lay plans for one another.
The Master said, In language it is simply required that it convey the meaning.
The music master, Mien, having called upon him, when they came to the steps, the Master said, Here are the steps. When they came to the mat for the guest to sit upon, he said, Here is the mat. When all were seated, the Master informed him, saying, So and so is here; so and so is here.
The music master, Mien, having gone out, Tsze-chang asked, saying. Is it the rule to tell those things to the music master?
The Master said, Yes. This is certainly the rule for those who lead the blind.
The head of the Chi family was going to attack Chwan-yu.
Zan Yu and Chi-lu had an interview with Confucius, and said, Our chief, Chil is going to commence operations against Chwan-yu.
Confucius said, Ch’iu, is it not you who are in fault here?
Now, in regard to Chwan-yu, long ago, a former king appointed its ruler to preside over the sacrifices to the eastern Mang; moreover, it is in the midst of the territory of our state; and its ruler is a minister in direct connection with the sovereign: What has your chief to do with attacking it?
Zan Yu said, Our master wishes the thing; neither of us two ministers wishes it.
Confucius said, Ch’iu, there are the words of Chau Zan, -‘When he can put forth his ability, he takes his place in the ranks of office; when he finds himself unable to do so, he retires from it. How can he be used as a guide to a blind man, who does not support him when tottering, nor raise him up when fallen?’
And further, you speak wrongly. When a tiger or rhinoceros escapes from his cage; when a tortoise or piece of jade is injured in its repository:-whose is the fault?
Zan Yu said, But at present, Chwan-yu is strong and near to Pi; if our chief do not now take it, it will hereafter be a sorrow to his descendants.
Confucius said. Ch’iu, the superior man hates those declining to say-‘I want such and such a thing,’ and framing explanations for their conduct.
I have heard that rulers of states and chiefs of families are not troubled lest their people should be few, but are troubled lest they should not keep their several places; that they are not troubled with fears of poverty, but are troubled with fears of a want of contented repose among the people in their several places. For when the people keep their several places, there will be no poverty; when harmony prevails, there will be no scarcity of people; and when there is such a contented repose, there will be no rebellious upsettings.
So it is.-Therefore, if remoter people are not submissive, all the influences of civil culture and virtue are to be cultivated to attract them to be so; and when they have been so attracted, they must be made contented and tranquil.
Now, here are you, Yu and Ch’iu, assisting your chief. Remoter people are not submissive, and, with your help, he cannot attract them to him. In his own territory there are divisions and downfalls, leavings and separations, and, with your help, he cannot preserve it.
And yet he is planning these hostile movements within the state.-I am afraid that the sorrow of the Chi-sun family will not be on account of Chwan-yu, but will be found within the screen of their own court.
Confucius said, When good government prevails in the empire, ceremonies, music, and punitive military expeditions proceed from the son of Heaven. When bad government prevails in the empire, ceremonies, music, and punitive military expeditions proceed from the princes. When these things proceed from the princes, as a rule, the cases will be few in which they do not lose their power in ten generations. When they proceed from the great officers of the princes, as a rule, the case will be few in which they do not lose their power in five generations. When the subsidiary ministers of the great officers hold in their grasp the orders of the state, as a rule the cases will be few in which they do not lose their power in three generations.
When right principles prevail in the kingdom, government will not be in the hands of the great officers.
When right principles prevail in the kingdom, there will be no discussions among the common people.
Confucius said, The revenue of the state has left the ducal house now for five generations. The government has been in the hands of the great officers for four generations. On this account, the descendants of the three Hwan are much reduced.
Confucius said, There are three friendships which are advantageous, and three which are injurious. Friendship with the uplight; friendship with the sincere; and friendship with the man of much observation:-these are advantageous. Friendship with the man of specious airs; friendship with the insinuatingly soft; and friendship with the glib-tongued:-these are injurious.
Confucius said, There are three things men find enjoyment in which are advantageous, and three things they find enjoyment in which are injurious. To find enjoyment in the discriminating study of ceremonies and music; to find enjoyment in speaking of the goodness of others; to find enjoyment in having many worthy friends:-these are advantageous. To find enjoyment in extravagant pleasures; to find enjoyment in idleness and sauntering; to find enjoyment in the pleasures of feasting:-these are injurious.
Confucius said, There are three errors to which they who stand in the presence of a man of virtue and station are liable. They may speak when it does not come to them to speak;-this is called rashness. They may not speak when it comes to them to speak;-this is called concealment. They may speak without looking at the countenance of their superior;-this is called blindness.
Confucius said, There are three things which the superior man guards against. In youth, when the physical powers are not yet settled, he guards against lust. When he is strong and the physical powers are full of vigor, he guards against quarrelsomeness. When he is old, and the animal powers are decayed, he guards against covetousness.
Confucius said, There are three things of which the superior man stands in awe. He stands in awe of the ordinances of Heaven. He stands in awe of great men. He stands in awe of the words of sages.
The mean man does not know the ordinances of Heaven, and consequently does not stand in awe of them. He is disrespectful to great men. He makes sport of the words of sages.
Confucius said, Those who are born with the possession of knowledge are the highest class of men. Those who learn, and so readily get possession of knowledge, are the next. Those who are dull and stupid, and yet compass the learning, are another class next to these. As to those who are dull and stupid and yet do not learn;-they are the lowest of the people.
Confucius said, The superior man has nine things which are subjects with him of thoughtful consideration. In regard to the use of his eyes, he is anxious to see clearly. In regard to the use of his ears, he is anxious to hear distinctly. In regard to his countenance, he is anxious that it should be benign. In regard to his demeanor, he is anxious that it should be respectful. In regard to his speech, he is anxious that it should be sincere. In regard to his doing of business, he is anxious that it should be reverently careful. In regard to what he doubts about, he is anxious to question others. When he is angry, he thinks of the difficulties his anger may involve him in. When he sees gain to be got, he thinks of righteousness.
Confucius said, Contemplating good, and pursuing it, as if they could not reach it; contemplating evil! and shrinking from it, as they would from thrusting the hand into boiling water:-I have seen such men, as I have heard such words.
Living in retirement to study their aims, and practicing righteousness to carry out their principles:-I have heard these words, but I have not seen such men.
The Duke Ching of Ch’i had a thousand teams, each of four horses, but on the day of his death, the people did not praise him for a single virtue. Po-i and Shu-ch’i died of hunger at the foot of the Shau-yang mountains, and the people, down to the present time, praise them.
Is not that saying illustrated by this?
Ch’an K’ang asked Po-yu, saying, Have you heard any lessons from your father different from what we have all heard?
Po-yu replied, No. He was standing alone once, when I passed below the hall with hasty steps, and said to me, ‘Have you learned the Odes?’ On my replying ‘Not yet,’ he added, If you do not learn the Odes, you will not be fit to converse with.’ I retired and studied the Odes.
Another day, he was in the same way standing alone, when I passed by below the hall with hasty steps, and said to me, ‘Have you learned the rules of Propriety?’ On my replying ‘Not yet,’ he added, ‘If you do not learn the rules of Propriety, your character cannot be established.’ I then retired, and learned the rules of Propriety.
I have heard only these two things from him.
Ch’ang K’ang retired, and, quite delighted, said, I asked one thing, and I have got three things. I have heard about the Odes. I have heard about the rules of Propriety. I have also heard that the superior man maintains a distant reserve towards his son.
The wife of the prince of a state is called by him Fu Zan. She calls herself Hsiao T’ung. The people of the state call her Chun Fu Zan, and, to the people of other states, they call her K’wa Hsiao Chun. The people of other states also call her Chun Fu Zan.
Yang Ho wished to see Confucius, but Confucius would not go to see him. On this, he sent a present of a pig to Confucius, who, having chosen a time when Ho was not at home went to pay his respects for the gift. He met him, however, on the way.
Ho said to Confucius, Come, let me speak with you. He then asked, Can he be called benevolent who keeps his jewel in his bosom, and leaves his country to confusion? Confucius replied, No. Can he be called wise, who is anxious to be engaged in public employment, and yet is constantly losing the opportunity of being so? Confucius again said, No. The days and months are passing away; the years do not wait for us. Confucius said, Right; I will go into office.
The Master said, By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.
The Master said, There are only the wise of the highest class, and the stupid of the lowest class, who cannot be changed.
The Master, having come to Wu-ch’ang, heard there the sound of stringed instruments and singing.
Well pleased and smiling, he said, Why use an ox knife to kill a fowl?
Tsze-yu replied, Formerly, Master, I heard you say,-‘When the man of high station is well instructed, he loves men; when the man of low station is well instructed, he is easily ruled.’
The Master said, My disciples, Yen’s words are right. What I said was only in sport.
Kung-shan Fu-zao, when he was holding Pi, and in an attitude of rebellion, invited the Master to visit him, who was rather inclined to go.
Tsze-lu was displeased. and said, Indeed, you cannot go! Why must you think of going to see Kung-shan?
The Master said, Can it be without some reason that he has invited ME? If any one employ me, may I not make an eastern Chau?
Tsze-chang asked Confucius about perfect virtue. Confucius said, To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue. He begged to ask what they were, and was told, Gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. If you are grave, you will not be treated with disrespect. If you are generous, you will win all. If you are sincere, people will repose trust in you. If you are earnest, you will accomplish much. If you are kind, this will enable you to employ the services of others.
Pi Hsi inviting him to visit him, the Master was inclined to go.
Tsze-lu said, Master, formerly I have heard you say, ‘When a man in his own person is guilty of doing evil, a superior man will not associate with him.’ Pi Hsi is in rebellion, holding possession of Chung-mau; if you go to him, what shall be said?
The Master said, Yes, I did use these words. But is it not said, that, if a thing be really hard, it may be ground without being made thin? Is it not said, that, if a thing be really white, it may be steeped in a dark fluid without being made black?
Am I a bitter gourd? How can I be hung up out of the way of being eaten?
The Master said, Yu, have you heard the six words to which are attached six becloudings? Yu replied, I have not.
Sit down, and I will tell them to you.
There is the love of being benevolent without the love of learning;-the beclouding here leads to a foolish simplicity. There is the love of knowing without the love of learning;-the beclouding here leads to dissipation of mind. There is the love of being sincere without the love of learning;-the beclouding here leads to an injurious disregard of consequences. There is the love of straightforwardness without the love of learning;-the beclouding here leads to rudeness. There is the love of boldness without the love of learning;-the beclouding here leads to insubordination. There is the love of firmness without the love of learning;-the beclouding here leads to extravagant conduct.
The Master said, My children, why do you not study the Book of Poetry?
The Odes serve to stimulate the mind.
They may be used for purposes of self-contemplation.
They teach the art of sociability.
They show how to regulate feelings of resentment.
From them you learn the more immediate duty of serving one’s father, and the remoter one of serving one’s prince.
From them we become largely acquainted with the names of birds, beasts, and plants.
The Master said to Po-yu, Do you give yourself to the Chau-nan and the Shao-nan. The man who has not studied the Chau-nan and the Shao-nan is like one who stands with his face right against a wall. Is he not so? The Master said, ‘It is according to the rules of propriety,’ they say.-‘It is according to the rules of propriety,’ they say. Are gems and silk all that is meant by propriety? ‘It is music,’ they say.-‘It is music,’ they say. Are hers and drums all that is meant by music?
The Master said, He who puts on an appearance of stern firmness, while inwardly he is weak, is like one of the small, mean people;-yea, is he not like the thief who breaks through, or climbs over, a wall?
The Master said, Your good, careful people of the villages are the thieves of virtue.
The Master said, To tell, as we go along, what we have heard on the way, is to cast away our virtue.
The Master said, There are those mean creatures! How impossible it is along with them to serve one’s prince!
While they have not got their aims, their anxiety is how to get them. When they have got them, their anxiety is lest they should lose them.
When they are anxious lest such things should be lost, there is nothing to which they will not proceed.
The Master said, Anciently, men had three failings, which now perhaps are not to be found.
The high-mindedness of antiquity showed itself in a disregard of small things; the high-mindedness of the present day shows itself in wild license. The stern dignity of antiquity showed itself in grave reserve; the stern dignity of the present day shows itself in quarrelsome perverseness. The stupidity of antiquity showed itself in straightforwardness; the stupidity of the present day shows itself in sheer deceit.
The Master said, Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with virtue.
The Master said, I hate the manner in which purple takes away the luster of vermilion. I hate the way in which the songs of Chang confound the music of the Ya. I hate those who with their sharp mouths overthrow kingdoms and families.
The Master said, I would prefer not speaking.
Tsze-kung said, If you, Master, do not speak, what shall we, your disciples, have to record?
The Master said, Does Heaven speak? The four seasons pursue their courses, and all things are continually being produced, but does Heaven say anything?
Zu Pei wished to see Confucius, but Confucius declined, on the ground of being sick, to see him. When the bearer of this message went out at the door, the Master took his lute and sang to it, in order that Pei might hear him.
Tsai Wo asked about the three years’ mourning for parents, saying that one year was long enough.
If the superior man, said he, abstains for three years from the observances of propriety, those observances will be quite lost. If for three years he abstains from music, music will be ruined. Within a year the old grain is exhausted, and the new grain has sprung up, and, in procuring fire by friction, we go through all the changes of wood for that purpose. After a complete year, the mourning may stop.
The Master said, If you were, after a year, to eat good rice, and wear embroidered clothes, would you feel at ease? I should, replied Wo.
The Master said, If you can feel at ease, do it. But a superior man, during the whole period of mourning, does not enjoy pleasant food which he may eat, nor derive pleasure from music which he may hear. He also does not feel at ease, if he is comfortably lodged. Therefore he does not do what you propose. But now you feel at ease and may do it.
Tsai Wo then went out, and the Master said, This shows Yu’s want of virtue. It is not till a child is three years old that it is allowed to leave the arms of its parents. And the three years’ mourning is universally observed throughout the empire. Did Yu enjoy the three years’ love of his parents?
The Master said, Hard is it to deal with who will stuff himself with food the whole day, without applying his mind to anything good! Are there not gamesters and chess players? To be one of these would still be better than doing nothing at all.
Tsze-lu said, Does the superior man esteem valor? The Master said, The superior man holds righteousness to be of highest importance. A man in a superior situation, having valor without righteousness, will be guilty of insubordination; one of the lower people having valor without righteousness, will commit robbery.
Tsze-kung said, Has the superior man his hatreds also? The Master said, He has his hatreds. He hates those who proclaim the evil of others. He hates the man who, being in a low station, slanders his superiors. He hates those who have valor merely, and are unobservant of propriety. He hates those who are forward and determined, and, at the same time, of contracted understanding.
The Master then inquired, Ts’ze, have you also your hatreds? Tsze-kung replied, I hate those who pry out matters, and ascribe the knowledge to their wisdom. I hate those who are only not modest, and think that they are valorous. I hate those who make known secrets, and think that they are straightforward.
The Master said, Of all people, girls and servants are the most difficult to behave to. If you are familiar with them, they lose their humility. If you maintain a reserve towards them, they are discontented.
The Master said, When a man at forty is the object of dislike, he will always continue what he is.
The Viscount of Wei withdrew from the court. The Viscount of Chi became a slave to Chau. Pi-kan remonstrated with him and died.
Confucius said, The Yin dynasty possessed these three men of virtue.
Hui of Liu-hsia, being chief criminal judge, was thrice dismissed from his office. Some one said to him, Is it not yet time for you, sir, to leave this? He replied, Serving men in an upright way, where shall I go to, and not experience such a thrice-repeated dismissal? If I choose to serve men in a crooked way, what necessity is there for me to leave the country of my parents?
The duke Ching of Ch’i, with reference to the manner in which he should treat Confucius, said, I cannot treat him as I would the chief of the Chi family. I will treat him in a manner between that accorded to the chief of the Chil and that given to the chief of the Mang family. He also said, I am old; I cannot use his doctrines. Confucius took his departure.
The people of Ch’i sent to Lu a present of female musicians, which Chi Hwan received, and for three days no court was held. Confucius took his departure.
The madman of Ch’u, Chieh-yu, passed by Confucius, singing and saying, O FANG! O FANG! How is your virtue degenerated! As to the past, reproof is useless; but the future may still be provided against. Give up your vain pursuit. Give up your vain pursuit. Peril awaits those who now engage in affairs of government.
Confucius alighted and wished to converse with him, but Chieh-yu hastened away, so that he could not talk with him.
Ch’ang-tsu and Chieh-ni were at work in the field together, when Confucius passed by them, and sent Tsze-lu to inquire for the ford.
Ch’ang-tsu said, Who is he that holds the reins in the carriage there? Tsze-lu told him, It is K’ung Ch’iu.’, Is it not K’ung of Lu? asked he. Yes, was the reply, to which the other rejoined, He knows the ford.
Tsze-lu then inquired of Chieh-ni, who said to him, Who are you, sir? He answered, I am Chung Yu. Are you not the disciple of K’ung Ch’iu of Lu? asked the other. I am, replied he, and then Chieh-ni said to him, Disorder, like a swelling flood, spreads over the whole empire, and who is he that will change its state for you? Rather than follow one who merely withdraws from this one and that one, had you not better follow those who have withdrawn from the world altogether? With this he fell to covering up the seed, and proceeded with his work, without stopping.
Tsze-lu went and reported their remarks, when the Master observed with a sigh, It is impossible to associate with birds and beasts, as if they were the same with us. If I associate not with these people,-with mankind,-with whom shall I associate? If right principles prevailed through the empire, there would be no use for me to change its state.
Tsze-lu, following the Master, happened to fall behind, when he met an old man, carrying across his shoulder on a staff a basket for weeds. Tsze-lu said to him, Have you seen my master, sir? The old man replied, Your four limbs are unaccustomed to toil; you cannot distinguish the five kinds of grain:-who is your master? With this, he planted his staff in the ground, and proceeded to weed.
Tsze-lu joined his hands across his breast, and stood before him.
The old man kept Tsze-lu to pass the night in his house, killed a fowl, prepared millet, and feasted him. He also introduced to him his two sons.
Next day, Tsze-lu went on his way, and reported his adventure. The Master said, He is a recluse, and sent Tsze-lu back to see him again, but when he got to the place, the old man was gone.
Tsze-lu then said to the family, Not to take office is not righteous. If the relations between old and young may not be neglected, how is it that he sets aside the duties that should be observed between sovereign and minister? Wishing to maintain his personal purity, he allows that great relation to come to confusion. A superior man takes office, and performs the righteous duties belonging to it. As to the failure of right principles to make progress, he is aware of that.
The men who have retired to privacy from the world have been Po-i, Shu-ch’i, Yuchung, I-yi, Chu-chang, Hui of Liu-hsia, and Shao-lien.
The Master said, Refusing to surrender their wills, or to submit to any taint in their persons; such, I think, were Po-i and Shu-ch’i.
It may be said of Hui of Liu-hsia! and of Shaolien, that they surrendered their wills, and submitted to taint in their persons, but their words corresponded with reason, and their actions were such as men are anxious to see. This is all that is to be remarked in them.
It may be said of Yu-chung and I-yi, that, while they hid themselves in their seclusion, they gave a license to their words; but in their persons, they succeeded in preserving their purity, and, in their retirement, they acted according to the exigency of the times.
I am different from all these. I have no course for which I am predetermined, and no course against which I am predetermined.
The grand music master, Chih, went to Ch’i.
Kan, the master of the band at the second meal, went to Ch’u. Liao, the band master at the third meal, went to Ts’ai. Chueh, the band master at the fourth meal, went to Ch’in.
Fang-shu, the drum master, withdrew to the north of the river.
Wu, the master of the hand drum, withdrew to the Han.
Yang, the assistant music master, and Hsiang, master of the musical stone, withdrew to an island in the sea.
The duke of Chau addressed his son, the duke of Lu, saying, The virtuous prince does not neglect his relations. He does not cause the great ministers to repine at his not employing them. Without some great cause, he does not dismiss from their offices the members of old families. He does not seek in one man talents for every employment.
To Chau belonged the eight officers, Po-ta, Po-kwo, Chung-tu, Chung-hwu, Shu-ya, Shuhsia, Chi-sui, and Chi-kwa.
Tsze-chang said, The scholar, trained for public duty, seeing threatening danger, is prepared to sacrifice his life. When the opportunity of gain is presented to him, he thinks of righteousness. In sacrificing, his thoughts are reverential. In mourning, his thoughts are about the grief which he should feel. Such a man commands our approbation indeed
Tsze-chang said, When a man holds fast to virtue, but without seeking to enlarge it, and believes in right principles, but without firm sincerity, what account can be made of his existence or non-existence?
The disciples of Tsze-hsia asked Tsze-chang about the principles that should characterize mutual intercourse. Tsze-chang asked, What does Tsze-hsia say on the subject? They replied, Tsze-hsia says: ‘Associate with those who can advantage you. Put away from you those who cannot do so.’ Tsze-chang observed, This is different from what I have learned. The superior man honors the talented and virtuous, and bears with all. He praises the good, and pities the incompetent. Am I possessed of great talents and virtue?-who is there among men whom I will not bear with? Am I devoid of talents and virtue?-men will put me away from them. What have we to do with the putting away of others?
Tsze-hsia said, Even in inferior studies and employments there is something worth being looked at; but if it be attempted to carry them out to what is remote, there is a danger of their proving inapplicable. Therefore, the superior man does not practice them.
Tsze-hsia said, He, who from day to day recognizes what he has not yet, and from month to month does not forget what he has attained to, may be said indeed to love to learn.
Tsze-hsia said, There are learning extensively, and having a firm and sincere aim; inquiring with earnestness, and reflecting with self-application:-virtue is in such a course.
Tsze-hsia said, Mechanics have their shops to dwell in, in order to accomplish their works. The superior man learns, in order to reach to the utmost of his principles.
Tsze-hsia said, The mean man is sure to gloss his faults.
Tsze-hsia said, The superior man undergoes three changes. Looked at from a distance, he appears stern; when approached, he is mild; when he is heard to speak, his language is firm and decided.
Tsze-hsia said, The superior man, having obtained their confidence, may then impose labors on his people. If he have not gained their confidence, they will think that he is oppressing them. Having obtained the confidence of his prince, one may then remonstrate with him. If he have not gained his confidence, the prince will think that he is vilifying him.
Tsze-hsia said, When a person does not transgress the boundary line in the great virtues, he may pass and repass it in the small virtues.
Tsze-yu said, The disciples and followers of Tsze-hsia, in sprinkling and sweeping the ground, in answering and replying, in advancing and receding, are sufficiently accomplished. But these are only the branches of learning, and they are left ignorant of what is essential.-How can they be acknowledged as sufficiently taught?
Tsze-hsia heard of the remark and said, Alas! Yen Yu is wrong. According to the way of the superior man in teaching, what departments are there which he considers of prime importance, and delivers? what are there which he considers of secondary importance, and allows himself to be idle about? But as in the case of plants, which are assorted according to their classes, so he deals with his disciples. How can the way of a superior man be such as to make fools of any of them? Is it not the sage alone, who can unite in one the beginning and the consummation of learning?
Tsze-hsia said, The officer, having discharged all his duties, should devote his leisure to learning. The student, having completed his learning, should apply himself to be an officer.
Tsze-hsia said, Mourning, having been carried to the utmost degree of grief, should stop with that.
Tsze-hsia said, My friend Chang can do things which are hard to be done, but yet he is not perfectly virtuous.
The philosopher Tsang said, How imposing is the manner of Chang! It is difficult along with him to practice virtue.
The philosopher Tsang said, I heard this from our Master: ‘Men may not have shown what is in them to the full extent, and yet they will be found to do so, on the occasion of mourning for their parents.
The philosopher Tsang said, I have heard this from our Master:-‘The filial piety of Mang Chwang, in other matters, was what other men are competent to, but, as seen in his not changing the ministers of his father, nor his father’s mode of government, it is difficult to be attained to.’
The chief of the Mang family having appointed Yang Fu to be chief criminal judge, the latter consulted the philosopher Tsang. Tsang said, The rulers have failed in their duties, and the people consequently have been disorganized for a long time. When you have found out the truth of any accusation, be grieved for and pity them, and do not feel joy at your own ability.
Tsze-kung said, Chau’s wickedness was not so great as that name implies. Therefore, the superior man hates to dwell in a low-lying situation, where all the evil of the world will flow in upon him.
Tsze-kung said, The faults of the superior man are like the eclipses of the sun and moon. He has his faults, and all men see them; he changes again, and all men look up to him.
Kung-sun Ch’ao of Wei asked Tszekung, saying. From whom did Chung-ni get his learning?
Tsze-kung replied, The doctrines of Wan and Wu have not yet fallen to the ground. They are to be found among men. Men of talents and virtue remember the greater principles of them, and others, not possessing such talents and virtue, remember the smaller. Thus, all possess the doctrines of Wan and Wu. Where could our Master go that he should not have an opportunity of learning them? And yet what necessity was there for his having a regular master?
Shu-sun Wu-shu observed to the great officers in the court, saying, Tsze-kung is superior to Chung-ni.
Tsze-fu Ching-po reported the observation to Tsze-kung, who said, Let me use the comparison of a house and its encompassing wall. My wall only reaches to the shoulders. One may peep over it, and see whatever is valuable in the apartments.
The wall of my Master is several fathoms high. If one do not find the door and enter by it, he cannot see the ancestral temple with its beauties, nor all the officers in their rich array.
But I may assume that they are few who find the door. Was not the observation of the chief only what might have been expected?
Shu-sun Wu-shu having spoken revilingly of Chung-ni, Tsze-kung said, It is of no use doing so. Chung-ni cannot be reviled. The talents and virtue of other men are hillocks and mounds which may be stepped over. Chung-ni is the sun or moon, which it is not possible to step over. Although a man may wish to cut himself off from the sage, what harm can he do to the sun or moon? He only shows that he does not know his own capacity.
Ch’an Tsze-ch’ in, addressing Tsze-kung, said, You are too modest. How can Chung-ni be said to be superior to you?
Tsze-kung said to him, For one word a man is often deemed to be wise, and for one word he is often deemed to be foolish. We ought to be careful indeed in what we say.
Our Master cannot be attained to, just in the same way as the heavens cannot be gone up by the steps of a stair.
Were our Master in the position of the ruler of a state or the chief of a family, we should find verified the description which has been given of a sage’s rule:-he would plant the people, and forthwith they would be established; he would lead them on, and forthwith they would follow him; he would make them happy, and forthwith multitudes would resort to his dominions; he would stimulate them, and forthwith they would be harmonious. While he lived, he would be glorious. When he died, he would be bitterly lamented. How is it possible for him to be attained to?
Yao said, Oh! you, Shun, the Heaven-determined order of succession now rests in your person. Sincerely hold fast the due Mean. If there shall be distress and want within the four seas, the Heavenly revenue will come to a perpetual end.
Shun also used the same language in giving charge to Yu.
T’ang said, I the child Li, presume to use a dark-colored victim, and presume to announce to Thee, O most great and sovereign God, that the sinner I dare not pardon, and thy ministers, O God, I do not keep in obscurity. The examination of them is by thy mind, O God. If, in my person, I commit offenses, they are not to be attributed to you, the people of the myriad regions. If you in the myriad regions commit offenses, these offenses must rest on my person.
Chau conferred great gifts, and the good were enriched.
Although he has his near relatives, they are not equal to my virtuous men. The people are throwing blame upon me, the One man.
He carefully attended to the weights and measures, examined the body of the laws, restored the discarded officers, and the good government of the kingdom took its course.
He revived states that had been extinguished, restored families whose line of succession had been broken, and called to office those who had retired into obscurity, so that throughout the kingdom the hearts of the people turned towards him.
What he attached chief importance to were the food of the people, the duties of mourning, and sacrifices.
By his generosity, he won all. By his sincerity, he made the people repose trust in him. By his earnest activity, his achievements were great. By his justice, all were delighted.
Tsze-chang asked Confucius, saying, In what way should a person in authority act in order that he may conduct government properly? The Master replied, Let him honor the five excellent, and banish away the four bad, things;-then may he conduct government properly. Tsze-chang said, What are meant by the five excellent things? The Master said, When the person in authority is beneficent without great expenditure; when he lays tasks on the people without their repining; when he pursues what he desires without being covetous; when he maintains a dignified ease without being proud; when he is majestic without being fierce.
Tsze-chang said, What is meant by being beneficent without great expenditure? The Master replied, When the person in authority makes more beneficial to the people the things from which they naturally derive benefit;-is not this being beneficent without great expenditure? When he chooses the labors which are proper, and makes them labor on them, who will repine? When his desires are set on benevolent government, and he secures it, who will accuse him of covetousness? Whether he has to do with many people or few, or with things great or small, he does not dare to indicate any disrespect;-is not this to maintain a dignified ease without any pride? He adjusts his clothes and cap, and throws a dignity into his looks, so that, thus dignified, he is looked at with awe;-is not this to be majestic without being fierce?
Tsze-chang then asked, What are meant by the four bad things? The Master said, To put the people to death without having instructed them;-this is called cruelty. To require from them, suddenly, the full tale of work, without having given them warning;-this is called oppression. To issue orders as if without urgency, at first, and, when the time comes, to insist on them with severity;-this is called injury. And, generally, in the giving pay or rewards to men, to do it in a stingy way;-this is called acting the part of a mere official.
The Master said, Without recognizing the ordinances of Heaven, it is impossible to be a superior man.
Without an acquaintance with the rules of Propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.
Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.